Shraap: Famous curses in Hindu Mythology that you probably don’t know!

The Hindus are convinced that their curses never fail to produce effect, whether justly or unjustly incurred.

Curse, Wikimeda Commons
Wikimedia Commons

In ancient times, Hindus used to believe that the apparent laws of nature might be interrupted by the power which holy men, and men unholy, and women, possessed of dooming by their curse any person, with whom they were offended, to suffer misfortune. But after the curse had been pronounced, it could not be taken back in Hinduism.

Here are some of the most famous curses from Hindu scriptures:

Draupadi and Pandavas.jpg
Yudhishthira on the throne with Draupadi, surrounded by the other Pandavas, Wikimedia Commons

I. Curse of Yudhishthira: In Mahabharata, Kunti, the mother of five Pandavas finally confesses her girlhood secret to her sons. Out of shame, she had never recognized her son Karna publicly since he was born before her marriage and Pandavas were never aware of his true identity. On hearing his mother’s words, Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers, is so distraught that he curses all woman kind for its deceitfulness that they shall not bear secrets, or they will suffer misery. This curse explains the fact why pregnant women cannot disguise their pregnancy according to the Hindu mythology.

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II. Gandhari’s curse: After the end of Mahabharat war, Lord Krishna met Kunti and Gandhari. Gandhari was the mother of Kaurav and had lost all of her sons and only son-in-law in war. Though she respected Lord Krishna but was of the view that he could have avoided Mahabharat and then her sons and son-in-law would have been alive. So she was in great anger and grief due to their death. And cursed him that as her sons and relatives had finished fighting among them, his family and relatives would also have the same fate.

III. Shiva’s curse to Brahma: Lord Shiva once appeared in the form of a Pillar of Fire and asked Brahma and Vishnu to find its two ends. Brahma journeyed upwards to the head and Vishnu downwards to the feet. Tradition has it that Brahma couldn’t find the top end, but lied that he found it. This infuriated Shiva and he expressed that thenceforth, Brahma would not be worshiped, or may be worshiped once a year. Hence, Brahma is hardly worshiped these days. There are only two temples of Brahma in India, one of which is at Pushkar, Rajasthan.

Front facade of Brahma temple in Pushkar
Front facade of Brahma temple in Pushkar, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

IV. Sita’s curse to Gaya: It is said when Ram, Lakshman, and Sita reached the banks of the Phalgu River (Gaya) to offer pind daan (as a mandatory rite that is believed to bring salvation to departed souls), Ram and Lakshman left Sita there and went in search of necessary items for pind daan. When they were away, there was a celestial call saying that the auspicious time for pind daan is passing away and that Sita should proceed with pind daan.

Phalgu or Falgu River.JPG
Phalgu or Falgu River, Wikimedia Commons

Considering the situation, Sita proceeded to do pind daan with cows, Phalgu River, Khetki flower and fire as witnesses. She personally chanted mantras offering balls made of river sand to Dasrath. When Ram and Lakshman returned, Sita told them about what had happened. Ram and Lakshman found it hard to believe. when Sita asked witnesses to testify about what she had said, none besides the Vat tree did so.

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In anger, Sita cursed the cows that they would eat impure things. She also cursed the river Phalgu that its water would dry on the top and water would flow under the waterline. She cursed Khetki flower that it would never be used for auspicious occasions and cursed the fire that water came in contact with it would be destroyed. She blessed the Vat tree that it would remain evergreen.

– by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117